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John E. Anderson

John E. Anderson

John E. Anderson, age 24 of Willmar, was killed in action on D-day, June 6, 1944, in Normandy, France in WW II.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 28, at 1:00 pm. in the War Memorial Auditorium, 311 6th Street SW in Willmar, with burial and military honors at Fairview cemetery in Willmar. Arrangements are with Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar. www.petersonbrothers.com

John Emanuel Anderson was born in Willmar, Minnesota, on September 25, 1919, to Oscar and Anna Anderson. He was raised in Willmar and graduated from high school in 1937, after which he worked for his father as a painter and decorator, planning eventually to take over his father's business. Following the outbreak of W.W. II in 1941, John enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He trained throughout the U.S. as a Motor Machinist. After serving in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, John was sent to England to prepare for the Invasion of the European Mainland in January of 1944.

On June 6, 1944, Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy. John and the men of LCT-30 transported the men of the 467th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion to Omaha Beach. After unloading the combat troops of that unit, the LCT-30 retracted from the beach. John was in the engine room checking the sand traps when the ship was hit by enemy fire. John was killed in action and the family was notified that he was lost at sea.

In 2009, researchers found evidence that an unmarked grave labeled X91 in the American Cemetery in Normandy, France, held remains from John's ship. In 2015, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency via a family request, disinterred the remains and positively identified them with DNA testing.

For his military service, John was awarded the Purple Heart Medal (Posthumous), Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, American Campaign Medal, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal (Posthumous).

John was the youngest of four children. His three older sisters, all deceased, include Esther (Robert) Franklin, Marian (Reuben) Bengtson, and Alice (Sydney) Johnson.

Surviving are nine nieces and nephews: Don (and Joan) Franklin, Judi (Franklin) Lifton; Susan Franklin (and David) Fulton; Rosalie Bengtson (and Doug) Guthrie;. Mark (and Nora) Bengtson; Mary Johnson; David Johnson, Marcia Johnson (and Ted) Matson, Dean (and Ginger) Johnson.

Deceased are Sheryl Franklin Swanson and Curt Swanson.